A cross-sectional analysis identified co-authorship networks and scientific collaboration on reporting guidelines for health research

Ferrán Catalá-López, Adolfo Alonso-Arroyo, Matthew J. Page, Lourdes Castelló-Cogollos, Brian Hutton, Manuel Ridao, Rafael Tabarés-Seisdedos, Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent, David Moher
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology


To investigate scientific collaboration and citation metrics of reporting guidelines for health research.

Study Design and Setting

A cross-sectional analysis of published articles of reporting guidelines for health research. A search of the EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network Library (from inception to January 21, 2021) was supplemented by searching websites of guideline developers. For each article, metadata (e.g., authors, institutions, countries, citations) were extracted from the Web of Science and Scopus (up to October 25, 2021). Descriptive analyses were conducted. Network analyses of collaborations were presented.


We included 662 articles published in 332 journals. The BMJ (n = 50 articles; 8%), Annals of Internal Medicine (n = 29; 4%), and Journal of Clinical Epidemiology (n = 24; 4%) published the largest number of articles. Four thousand seven hundred twenty two authors, 1,647 institutions, and 83 countries were involved. The global productivity was led by the United States (n = 456 articles), the United Kingdom (n = 414), and Canada (n = 306). We found eight clusters of authors (e.g., one major group with 337 members) and three clusters of institutions (e.g., one major group with 256 members). The most prolific authors were affiliated with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Canada), the University of Ottawa (Canada), the University of Oxford (the United Kingdom), and Stanford University (the United States).


Our analysis identified key actors producing reporting guidelines, most intense collaborations, and ‘citation classics’ in the field. These results could potentially be used to strengthen collaborations for developing and disseminating reporting guidelines for health research.